Navigation Links
Kids Born Even a Little Early Have Lower School Scores: Study
Date:7/2/2012

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Babies born on the early side of full-term may have higher odds of academic delays than those delivered a week or two later, new research finds.

Experts aren't sure what exactly causes the achievement lag, evident in third grade. "Perhaps there is something about the uterine environment that supports brain development in a favorable way in the last month of pregnancy and perhaps gets disrupted by earlier birth," said study leader Kimberly Noble, assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

The study looked at data from more than 128,000 births of single babies born between 37 and 41 weeks, the span considered full term. When the children reached third grade, the researchers examined their scores on standardized tests to see if their delivery date suggested a difference in learning ability. They concluded that it did.

The math and reading scores of children born technically at full-term -- 37 to 38 weeks' gestation -- lagged slightly behind their peers born just a little later, at 39, 40 or 41 weeks.

The study is published online July 2 in Pediatrics

For years, experts have known that children born preterm, defined as before 37 weeks, are more likely to have academic difficulties, Noble said. Until recently, less attention has focused on differences between children born early full term or later full term.

The commonly held belief that babies born anytime between 37 and 41 weeks develop similarly may be inaccurate, she writes.

The differences found were relatively small, Noble said, but enough to make a difference from a public health or population point of view.

Compared to children born at 41 weeks, those born at 37 weeks had a 23 percent higher risk of moderate reading impairment. Those born at 38 weeks had a 13 percent increased risk.

Math scores indicated a 19 percent higher risk of moderate impairment for children born at 37 weeks compared to the 41-week babies. For those delivered at 38 weeks, the risk of a mild impairment was 11 percent higher.

Why the difference? "We don't know for sure from this data," Noble said. However, it is known that during the final weeks of pregnancy, the brain grows rapidly and there is an increase in gray matter and white matter and brain cell differentiation, she said.

The association held when she took into account other factors known to affect school performance, such as maternal education and income level. However, this link between earlier delivery and learning delays does not prove a causal relationship.

But Noble said parents and doctors considering early, elective C-sections might consider the research findings before scheduling.

Dr. Roya Samuels, a pediatrician at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., said the study findings may change the tendency of parents and doctors to think of all full-term babies alike.

"The longer an infant is incubated, it looks like the more synapses [brain connections] are able to be created and the more advanced the neurological growth is," said Samuels, who was not involved in the study.

She predicted that more research will focus on the crucial last weeks of pregnancy.

As for whether this research should affect early, elective C-section deliveries, Samuels said, "that is a tough one." Many are scheduled because of impending danger to the mother or infant, she said.

For now, the message for pregnant women, she said, is "to take the best prenatal care of themselves they possibly can."

More information

To learn more about healthy pregnancies, visit March of Dimes.

SOURCES: Kimberly G. Noble, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York City; Roya Samuels, M.D., pediatrician, Cohen Children's Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; August 2012 Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New federal disclosure law may have little impact on drugs prescribed
2. Too much vitamin D can be as unhealthy as too little
3. OSHAs Safety Tests Protect Workers at Little Cost: Study
4. A Little More Education, a Little Longer Life?
5. Botox Offers Little Relief for Migraine, Study Finds
6. U.S. Spends Too Little on Public Health Initiatives: Report
7. In children born with severe heart defect, surgical management has little effect on neuro outcomes
8. Rheumatoid arthritis takes high toll in unemployment, early death, Mayo Clinic finds
9. UT Southwestern study shows treating diabetes early, intensively is best strategy
10. Early Surgery May Benefit Some With Heart Infection
11. After child dies, moms risk of early death skyrockets: study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Kids Born Even a Little Early Have Lower School Scores: Study 
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Despite last week’s media reports hinting ... and company to wait until March 2017 for an interest rate increase, according to ... College of Business. , “The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) dot charts are of ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Missouri (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... quality and clinical outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference ... focus on their mission of elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Pompano Beach, Florida (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... Green House® Project offering a new model of care for living and ... on three core values: Meaningful Life in a Real Home provided by Empowered Staff. ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... and development solutions for drugs, biologics, consumer health and global clinical supply services, ... in Korea to support the company’s continued investment and strategic growth plans in ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer ... tips to make sure your family and vehicle are ready to hit the road ... be 439 deaths and an additional 50,500 serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes during ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... Tenn. , May 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... of software and analytics, network solutions and ... today announced it entered into a strategic ... provider of outpatient software solutions and revenue ... centers, specialty hospitals and rehabilitation clinics to ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... -- FDA 510(k) clearance covers Confocal ... urological and surgical applications Mauna Kea ... the multidisciplinary confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) platform, today ... with the 12 th 510(k) clearance from ... new FDA clearance covers Confocal Miniprobes indicated for ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , Deutschland und GERMANTOWN, Maryland ... Zusammenarbeit mit Therawis bedient dringenden ... Brustkrebs   QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: ... heute bekannt, eine Lizenz- und Entwicklungsvereinbarung mit Therawis ... für die Onkologie eingegangen zu sein. Ein erstes ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: